Mastermind of stripper smuggling plan pleads guilty in Newark

(12/01/04) NEWARK A Russian entertainment specialist pleaded guilty Wednesday in Newark to charges stemming from a stripper smuggling operation.

Lev Traktenberg illegally brought Russian women into the U.S. and forced them to work at various New Jersey strip clubs. In addition to forcing illegal immigrants to strip, Traktenberg demanded each woman pay him $200 per day regardless of their earnings. The women were also threatened with physical harm if they did not provide the money or wanted out of the promoters grasp.

Traktenberg could face up to five years in prison for his actions. According to his attorney, the deal offered by the prosecution was just too good to pass up. Traktenberg will be sentenced on March 11.

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